Beginner Surf Gear

The Beginner’s Guide to Choosing the Best Surf Changing Mat

When I first started to learn to surf, changing out of my wetsuit was one of the most challenging parts of surfing. Even the thought of having to get out of a wetsuit at the end of my surf made it that much harder to get the motivation to get in the water. Luckily I got a surf mat early in my beginner surf journey, which has made it so much easier to get out in the action!

Changing on the beach gets your wetsuit very sandy. That’s why the surf industry came up with the wetsuit-changing mat.

If you change in the parking lot, you risk damaging your wetsuit. Stop wasting time washing out the sand. Stop ruining the wetsuit you’ve spent so much money on.

We are here with a solution to help save you time and protect your wallet.

A surf changing mat! These portable accessories will not break the bank and allow you to seamlessly get out of your wetsuit after a surf session without the hassle of getting dirty and sandy.

This guide will help you choose the best surf-changing mat for your needs. We have also reviewed five of our favorite products that are currently on the market.

With that said, we will now get into our guide to help you find the best surf-changing mat for your needs.

What is Surf Changing Mat?

The surf changing mat is an innovative new product that is quickly gaining popularity among surfers. Surfers can use the mat to change into their wetsuits without getting completely naked in public.

This can be a huge benefit for both men and women, as it can help to avoid any awkward or embarrassing situations.

Surf change mat

The Surf Changing Mat is made from a high-quality material that is both durable and comfortable. It is also very easy to use, as users can roll it up and store it in a small bag when not in use.

Overall, the Surf Changing Mat is a great option for anyone who wants to make their surfing experience more convenient and comfortable.

Why do you need a Surf Changing Mat?

If you’re a surfer, you know that there’s nothing worse than getting out of the water and finding that your wetsuit is covered in sand.

A surf-changing mat can help you avoid this problem by providing a clean and dry place to change out of your wet suit. Trust us, a surf-changing mat is a must-have for any serious surfer.

So why do you need a surf-changing mat? Here are just a few of the reasons:

    • It makes it easy for a surfer to change into their wetsuit

    • They make it easy to keep your wetsuit clean

    • You don’t have to worry about the sand and saltwater damaging your car

    • They provide a comfortable place to change

As you can see, there are plenty of good reasons to invest in a surf changing mat. So if you don’t have one yet, be sure to pick one up the next time!

The History of the Surf Changing Mat?

The surf-changing mat was invented in the early 1970s by surfers in California. At the time, most surfers changed into their wetsuits on the beach, which was often dirty and sandy.

Somebody created the surf-changing mat to provide a clean, dry surface for surfers to change into their wetsuits, originally making it out of terrycloth, which was absorbent and could be easily washed.

Today, people usually make surf-changing mats out of synthetic materials.

They are also much smaller than they used to be, as surfers now change into their wetsuits at the beach or in cars rather than on the sand.

wetsuit changing mat

Thanks to this wonderful innovation, surfers were able to keep their wetsuits clean and dry. Many board shops and surfing accessories stores still sell surf changing mats today.

How to Choose the Best Surf Changing Mat

Whether you’re a beginner or a seasoned pro, choosing the best surf-changing mat is essential for a comfortable and enjoyable experience out on the waves.

With so many different mats on the market, it can be hard to know which one is right for you.

best surf changing mat

But don’t worry, we’re here to help. Here are some of the things you should look out for when you want to get a surf changing mat.


First, you’ll need to consider the size of the mat. If you’re only going to be using it for yourself, a smaller mat will suffice. However, if you plan on changing clothes with other people or want extra space to move around, you’ll need to opt for a larger mat.


Next, you’ll want to think about the material of your mat. Most mats are made out of either PVC or foam, with PVC being the most popular option for its durability and strength. However, if you’re looking for something more eco-friendly and ergonomic, then foam mats might be better suited for you.


You’ll need to consider the durability of the mat. You don’t want to be constantly replacing your mat, so look for one that is made with sturdy material and can withstand wear and tear over time.


You will want to make sure the mat is waterproof. If it isn’t, then you will be forced to change on the sand, which can get very uncomfortable. This is especially important if you plan on spending a lot of time in the water.


Finally, you’ll need to think about the price of your mat. The higher quality and larger size will increase your costs, but this is something that you should expect when shopping for any product.

wetsuit mat

5 Best Surf Changing Mats

There are a lot of different surf-changing mats on the market, so it can be tough to know which one is right for you. That’s why we’ve put together this list of the 5 best surf-changing mats, to help you find the perfect one for your needs.

Surf Gear Lab Changing Mat

Key Features

    • A large, detachable wet/dry bag for your wet gear

    • A water-resistant pocket for your keys, phone, and other valuables

    • A handy mesh pocket for your sunscreen, wax, and other surf accessories

    • A comfortable, padded changing mat


We think that this wetsuit-changing mat is the best in terms of both quality and value. It’s made from premium-grade Oxford cloth, making it 100% waterproof and durable.

The built-in drawstring makes it easy to close it up and sling it over your shoulder once your wetsuit is off and in the bag.

In terms of size, this mat measures 90 cm in diameter, which is a little larger than most wetsuit change mats out there.

We think this is the optimal size: large enough to capture your wetsuit as it drops into the bag and small enough to pack down in a compact shape.

wetsuit changing mat

Ho Stevie! Surf Changing Mat

Key features

    • The mat is made from soft, durable material that is easy on the skin and dries quickly.

    • It also has a handy pocket for storing your keys, phone, and other small items.

    • The mat rolls up easily so you can take it with you wherever you go.


A simple and effective surf changing mat brought to you by Californian surfer and vlogger Steve. Use this handy little mat to ensure that no sand or other debris gets onto your wetsuit after your surf sessions to extend the life of your wetsuit.

These granules, combined with abrasion, end up breaking down the fibers of your wetsuits and thus decreasing their lifespan.

Ho Stevie’s surf changing mat will preserve your wetsuit’s lifespan, save your car from getting wet and smelling, and when tied up, it can hold your wetsuit and a towel due to its durable and waterproof material.

ho stevie surf change mat

Northcore Grass Change Mat/Bag

Key features

    • The Northcore Grass Change Mat/Bag is made from durable, water-resistant materials that will keep your things dry and protected from the elements.

    • It features a large, zippered main compartment that is perfect for holding all of your gear, and it also has a smaller front pocket for smaller items.

    • The bag has an adjustable shoulder strap for comfortable carrying, and it also has a handle on the top for easy transport.

    • The Northcore Grass Change Mat/Bag is available in two different sizes, so you can choose the one that best suits your needs.


The Northcore Grass Mat makes our list of the best three surf changing mats for its durability. This mat, made of heavy-duty, water-resistant polyester, stands up to wear and tear.

The Northcore Grass Mat, lined with artificial grass, acts as a barrier from the ground when changing. No more standing on the cold or hard ground when changing, an annoyance we all experience.

We like how the bag folds out for you to stand on, then folds back together to form a bag with handles for easy storage and transportation of your wet kit. You will find this feature to be priceless when trying to keep your vehicle dry and sand-free.

Just apply some wet shampoo to hand wash your mat, or hang it out to dry. You will find this investment to be one you will not regret.

surf changing mat

Surf Grass Mat

Key Features

    • The Surf Grass Mat is a 4’x6′ mat that is made of high-density foam and has a textured surface to provide traction.

    • It is lightweight and easy to transport, making it perfect for the beach or pool.

    • The mat is made of durable material that can withstand salt water and sun exposure.

    • The Surf Grass Mat is also eco-friendly and biodegradable.


The Surf Grass Mat is on our list of surf changing mats for its portability and comfort. No matter the amount of sand, the synthetic grass allows you to easily clean the mat when you come out of the water, instead of the hard asphalt or hot sand that you would normally be met with.

The Surf Grass Mat takes away those discomforts. You can use the mat for multiple other outdoor activities away from the beach, like tubing, scuba diving, and paddle boarding.

After the easy clean-up of the Surf Grass Mat, you can easily store your mat by rolling it up or sliding it into your vehicle for its next use. This feature makes it very adaptable for any surfer, or outdoorsman, no matter the use.

The velcro strap keeps the mat tight for compact storage. The Surf Grass Mat comes in seven different colors and two sizes (Our personal favorite is blue).

surf changing mat

Surf Sac Pro

Key Features

    • It’s made from durable polyester fabric that can withstand the elements.

    • The bag has a PVC sleeve that protects your board from scratches and scuffs.

    • It has a padded shoulder strap for comfortable carrying.

    • It comes with a handy storage pouch for your wax, sunscreen, and other essentials.


Rounding out our list of the top five best wetsuit-changing mats is the Surf Sac Pro. The Surf Sac Pro is not only portable, but it is also compact. The Surf Sac Pro, is made for easy packing and carrying to and from the beach.

It is large enough to carry your wetsuit, swimming suit, towels, and extras with ease. The long over-the-shoulder strap frees up your hands to carry other surfing gear, such as your board.

No need to have separate bags for your dry and wet clothes. The Surf Sac Pro allows you to put them in separate compartments in the same bag. Sealed zippers keep dirty and wet clothes from turning your car into a mess.

We love the Surf Sac Pro for its versatility. Whether you are surfing, camping, kayaking, or scuba diving this accessory is made for anyone.

Where Can You Buy a Surf Changing Mat?

There are a few different places where you can buy a surf changing mat. The first place to check is your local surf shop. If they don’t have what you’re looking for, you can also check online retailers or even Amazon.

outdoor changing mat

When you’re choosing a surf changing mat, make sure to pick one that is durable and easy to clean. You’ll also want to make sure it is big enough to comfortably change into your wetsuit. With so many different options on the market, you’re sure to find the perfect surf changing mat for your needs.


Having a wetsuit-changing mat will certainly improve your post-surf sessions. With one of these surf-changing mats, you will never have to worry about your wetsuit getting damaged or soiled again.

Your car and wallet will thank you. These wetsuit-changing mats are helpful accessories for any surfer, including you. Make your life easier by investing in a surf-changing mat.

changing mat surf

Frequently Asked Questions

Do you need a surf changing mat?

If you’re an avid surfer, you know how important it is to have the right tools and gear to help you enjoy your time out on the waves. A good surf changing mat is an essential piece of equipment for any surfer. A surf changing mat helps you keep your wetsuit clean and dry when you’re changing in and out of it.

What is the best mat for surfing?

There is no one “best” mat for surfing. It depends on your individual preferences and needs. Designers create some mats for beginners, while others create mats better suited for experienced surfers. There are also mats of different sizes, shapes, and colors.

How thick is a surfer mat?

The thickness of a surfboard mat really depends on the brand and model. Some brands make their mats super thick, while others keep them thinner. The thickness of the mat also affects how much grip it has on the board. Thicker mats usually provide more grip, while thinner mats often provide less.

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